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Should I take Probability and Statistics?

  1. Oct 30, 2014 #1
    I've never taken a course in Probability and Statistics. In high school, I've taken AP Statistics but got F's and got a 1 on the AP exam. I have taken Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, Linear Algebra, and currently learning Differential Equations. I want to pursue Computer Science and become a computer programmer but I don't know if I should take Probability and Statistics. I don't want to just take it and find out later that it's not useful for computer programming. So should I take it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2014 #2
    It's useful for certain kinds of computer programming, like machine learning or data science or maybe financial stuff. The question over whether something is or is not useful for your job is not as black as white as you seem to assume. You don't have to take it, but if you do, there are places in programming where you can use it.
  4. Oct 31, 2014 #3


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    Education Advisor

    Most computer science programs that I'm familiar with in Canada require students to take an introductory course in probability and statistics. At any rate, there are aspects of probability and statistics that are useful to both programming and to more theoretical aspects of computer science.

    To the OP: you said you earned an F in AP Statistics. What specifically did you have difficulty with in the course? Did you find the material hard to grasp? Was the course taught poorly? It may be worth looking into what issues you faced, so that you can determine what next steps to take in case you decide to take the course.
  5. Oct 31, 2014 #4
  6. Oct 31, 2014 #5
    Then I'm willing to take an introductory course in Probability and Statistics. What textbook can you guys recommend me for this course? Can someone tell me the name of the textbook, author, and edition?
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